Its Christmas Eve and already dark in the afternoon, so all the fairy lights are on.
The streets are crowded with people doing last minute shopping. Most of them carry parcels and bags full of food and presents.
Everyone is hurrying because it isnt long until the shops shut.
Theres one shop that no-one stops at to look in: the little Charity Shop that sells second-hand clothes and odds and ends. Inside its chock-a-block with things people have given away.
And there at the very back of the shop, almost out of sight on the dusty top shelf, sits the saddest-looking teddy youve ever seen.
If you were that teddy bear, youd feel sorry for yourself.
Poor teddy has been left up there for such a long time. And its all alone with only some musty-fusty books on either side for company. But teddy cant read and the books dont even have pictures in.
Thats not much fun when Christmas is coming.
Who will help this teddy bear?
Outside in the busy street, a man is wondering what to do.
He wants to buy a present for Little Lou, but doesnt have a lot of money.
Kind Uncle Bob really loves Little Lou, so wants to get something special. Where can he find that special something?
The things in the Toy Shop are too expensive.
Wheres a place that sells things he can afford?
How about the Charity Shop? Its worth a try.
So Bob goes in and says "hello" to the nice old lady who serves in the shop.
Looking round him, what does he see?
and Ladies coats
and Ladies skirts
and Ladies scarves
all sorts of different clothes for Ladies.
All of them would look nice on the lady in the shop.
Bob asks the lady if she has any toys.
"Toys? Let me see now Theres only a broken thingummy-jig with the wotsit missing O and a hundred piece jigsaw with 44 pieces or this childrens book with the pictures torn out or I dont suppose youd be interested in "
Before shes even finished speaking, Bob has seen it and knows at once this is that special something for Little Lou.
" that thing up there on the top shelf."
Bob asks her how much it costs.
The lady names a price and Bob counts out the coins in his pocket. He doesnt have quite enough. O dear.
But, as its the season of Good Will and its such a shabby-looking teddy, the lady lets Bob have it anyway.
When he gets home, Bob carefully takes the teddy bear out of his knapsack and places it in his favourite armchair in front of the fire. Its cold out. The weather forecast said there might be snow.
Still, its cosy here, and teddy looks happier already, seated by the merry blaze.
"Now, what are we going to do with you?" says Bob to the bear, "You look as if you could do with a good wash and brush up. Bathtime for bears!"
So Bob fills the washing-up bowl with hot soapy water and sets to work cleaning his furry new friend.
When thats done, he puts the teddy on a bath-towel and switches on the hair-dryer. Soon the bear is warm and dry, and Bob gets a brush to brush its fur.
"There, my fine bear, good as new and twice as handsome! And Ive got just the thing for you."
Bob goes to the bottom-drawer of his dressing-table and takes out a brand-new red bow tie.
"There we are, the finishing touch! O what a beautiful bear you are!"
Indeed the bear looks a treat and seems to be smiling a shy, pleased smile.
"Well, my bear, its up bright and early in the morning so lets get some shut-eye."
With that, Bob gets ready for bed and, taking teddy with him, soon all that can be heard is the sound of snores.
Little Lou lives alone with Mum. Their doorbell jingles and its kind Uncle Bob come round to visit.
First everyone shares a great big hug. They kiss and smile and say "Happy Christmas."
Little Lou is so excited.
Mums been busy cooking, baking: cake and pudding, pies, the lot.
The fir tree in the garden is hung with nuts and other titbits for the birds.
Their living rooms all festive and jolly, festooned with homemade decorations, holly and mistletoe, rainbow balloons.
All this seems like magic to Little Lou.
"Uncle Bob, Uncle Bob, heres a Christmas card I drew you," says Little Lou.
"Thank-you, Lou, I really like the purple reindeer" says Uncle Bob. "Do you want to meet a friend of mine?"
Bob takes the knapsack from his back and who should be in it but our friend the teddy bear!
Little Lou is bursting with joy.
"A teddy bear, a teddy bear!"
And not only that but a teddy bear with a red bow tie!
"Teddy wants to come and live with you," says Uncle Bob.
"Yes please, O yes please," says Little Lou, hugging the bear.
Outside the window, snow is falling. Here in the house, its lovely and warm.
They spread the tablecloth on the carpet and lay out cups and saucers, plates and bowls, knives, forks, spoons.
Lou makes the Menu for Santas Pantry: cake and pudding, pies, the lot.
Teddy, the special guest of honour, is given the very best seat, the fluffy cushion.
They all put on their party hats. Uncle Bob, the waiter, fills their cups with hot orange punch and they drink a toast to Teddy, our friend.
"Look, mum, look, its a teddy bears picnic!" laughs Little Lou.
NB This story needs some colourful pictures. If you are an illustrator & would like to have a go, please do so. contact
Teddy Bears (photo)
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